Between a live Vice Presidential debate and football pre-emptions on Fox and the CW, not much is certain about the broadcast networks’ ratings performances last night against NFL and baseball playoffs on cable. We will post reliable ratings for the debate when available, but in the fast nationals, the Biden-Ryan face-off is tracking significantly lower than the first Obama-Romney debate last week without a Sarah Palin-calliber audience draw.

The CW premiered its new Thursday lineup with solid showings for both flagship The Vampire Diaries and new drama Beauty And The Beast. Right now, Vampire Diaries (3.5 million total viewers, 1.7/6 in 18-34, 1.6/5 in 18-49) is running up 12% in total viewers, up a tenth in 18-49 and even in 18-34 vs. last fall’s opener. In adults 18-49, it beat NBC’s comedies 30 Rock (1.4/4, flat with last week) and Up All Night (1.2/3, down 14%) and tied ABC’s high-profile new drama Last Resort in the 8 PM hour. The CW also finished ahead of ABC and NBC among adults 18-34 at 8 PM. Beauty And The Beast (3.2 million, 1.2/3 in 18-34, 1.3/3 in 18-49) was on par with debut last fall of The Secret Circle, which opened well before losing steam.

Last Resort (1.6/4) was down another 11% as it continues to slide following its soft premiere. The submarine drama is the biggest DVR gainer percentage-wise among the 8 PM shows, but it is hard to make up ground starting off such a small base. Speaking of gains, CBS’ The Big Bang Theory (4.2/13) is poised to get the biggest upward adjustment in the finals today as post-debate coverage spilled into the 8 PM hour in the Mountain time zone. But it won’t be able to fill the 0.7 (14%) ratings drop from last week. Two And A Half Men (3.4/9) was down two tenths to a new series low but would be roughly on par with the adjustment. Fox’s The X Factor (2.9/8) was also down two tenths from last week’s fast national.